From Robert Penner of WPS:
Swedish Champions to face WPS All-Stars in St. Louis
SAN FRANCISCO, CA & UMEA, SWEDEN (6/29/2009) – Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) announced today that Swedish Champions Umea IK will play in the WPS All-Star Game on August 30 to conclude the 2009 WPS Season. The 2009 All-Star Game is being played at The Anheuser-Busch Soccer Park in Fenton, MO, on August 30th with kick-off scheduled for 5:30pm ET/4:30pm CT. The game will be televised live nationally on Fox Soccer Channel and regionally on select Fox Sports Net affiliates (check local listings), starting at 5:00 p.m. ET with a half-hour pre-game show prior to kick-off.
“Our league is part of the bigger growth of the women’s game at the global level and we wanted to acknowledge that by bringing in a club from outside the league to play in the U.S.,” said WPS Commissioner Tonya Antonucci. “Umea IK has a great history and is one of the leading women’s club teams in the world, so they are a great fit as the opposition for our WPS All-Stars.”
The game is being played eight days following the WPS Championship, featuring a team of 18 WPS All-Stars, who will be selected through mix of voting (starting 11) and at-large selections by the head coach and the WPS Commissioner.
“It is of course a great honor for Umea to have been chosen as the opposition in the first WPS All Star Game,” says Umea IK Club Director Britta Akerlund. “Considering the players we will play against, the atmosphere that surrounds the game and the fact Umea IK has been chosen, highlight the strength of Swedish women’s football has on the international stage.”
With three-time FIFA World Player of the Year Marta currently tied for the lead in WPS in scoring, it’s likely that Umea will have to defend against their former teammate and star forward Marta of the Los Angeles Sol.
Umea IK striker and former Swedish International Hanna Ljungberg is looking forward to the challenge: “It is going to be very exciting to play against the best players of WPS, many of them world class players, who during 90 minutes will be playing on the same team. Naturally, we look forward to playing against Marta, but also hope that I will get the chance to have some tough one-on-ones with Frida Ostberg.”
Umea IK is one of the top women’s clubs in partnership with PUMA. The global sportlifestyle brand is also a founding sponsor of WPS and the official sport and lifestyle apparel, footwear and equipment supplier of WPS, including the official WPS Match Ball. Detailed information about the All-Star Game program will be announced at a later date.